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Newsmakers

News/Business. Media personalities discuss current issues.

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00:30:00

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Washington 5, Us 5, America 5, Boehner 4, Paul Ryan 2, Obama 1, Ben Bernanke 1, Catherine Rodgers 1, Steven Cook 1, Fifa 1, Washington Post Abc 1, Wagner 1, Reid 1, Wynn Jenkins 1, Portland 1, Virginia 1, Colorado 1, D.c. 1, Jenkins 1, Mitch Mcconnell 1,
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  CSPAN    Newsmakers    News/Business. Media  
   personalities discuss current issues.  

    December 16, 2012
    10:00 - 10:30am EST  

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this opposition will actually, less -collapse- . the history is that they are split and their largely ineffective. the great irony of this revolution is the triumph of liberal ideas. it is extraordinary to see how the brotherhood and others have sought to advance inherently anti-democratic agenda is were the liberals have essentially left. silent. host: steven cook, a senior fellow council on foreign relations. thank you. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012] .
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>> good morning. on newsmakers this morning, we have catherine rodgers. >> i found it encouraging that the president was speaking with speaker boehner and having the talks. there have not been enough good faith negotiations to date. the clock is ticking, and we're not that far from december 31, the fiscal cliff. i think it is important that we kind of take a step back and remember what the fiscal cliff is all about. it is when the tax rate --
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across the board, our current tax code expires. if congress does not take action, it would be a $3.5 trillion tax increase oned american people. it would impact nearly everyone. it would cost us two million jobs, a double-dip recession, and in addition to that, we also have see quest racial -- sequestration, which is looming. the across-the-board cuts would be a million jobs lost in the defense industry. there is a lot on our plate right now, and i think -- yes? >> do you think any progress has been made out of those meetings? i think the speaker and the president have tried to have a frank discussion but did not disclose any tangible progress made. do you have any reason to believe there has been proog -- progress?
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>> i haven't heard the details. in what the speaker has told me, he has been disappointed that the president seems to be heading in the opposite direction as far as continuing to call for higher taxes than ever, a doubling of the taxes that he talked about when he was campaigning for re-election. also calling for more spending, another stimulus, and an unlimited ability to raise the debt ceiling. for republicans, we believe it is so important that we're addressing the out of-of control spending. ed trillion deficit. we see a nearly doubling of the debt since president obama took office. we're on track to double the debt again in the next four years. it is that debt that's making it harder on our middle class families, making it harder on our economy. as the federal government grows larger and larger, that is what is squeezing our middle class in this country.
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this is our moment to do the big things. americans have elected us to lead. they elected the president to lead. speaker boehner is ready -- you know, go to the tables, have the negotiations, but the president needs to recognize that we have to address the spending. we have to address the spending. the reason we're talking about more tax revenue is we have spending way beyond what we've been taking in. >> congresswoman, you said something at the beginning of your answer saying, i don't know the details. that is a phrase we have heard from about 434 members of congress this week. "i don't know the details." can you help us understand how these details get filtered fow and then are given to constituents? >> sure. the speaker meets with us regularly. he meets with the house republicans.
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unfortunately, they have not been having the conversations with the president in a way that sets up the frame work in a way we believe happens. when we talk about the details, what needs to happen between now and december 31, is we need to have a framework. we need to agree that we will agree to a certain number in new tax revenue as well as a certain number in spending reductions, in spending cuts. that framework is what we could put in place. the republicans have put more tax revenue on the table. the speaker went to the podium the day after the election and said he would put tax revenue on the table by closing the loopholes, eliminating some of the deductions, a simplifying of our tax code which would give more certainty to our middle class families and to our economy. in addition we need the president to recognize there has
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to be spending cuts. there has to be that part of the equation. to date, the president hasn't been willing to put anything forward, at least that we've heard from the speaker. >> i know that one of the things the president has basically said, democratic leaders in the congress have minimumiced this argument, they have said, you know, republicans need to agree to an increase in rates on top earners, and then we will talk about everything else. do you think there is enough -- what do you think the sentiment is among house republicans? it seems some think increasing rates, while not optimal, may be necessary to not go over the cliff. where do you think this is going? >> the republicans have agreed that the wealthiest in this country would have to pay more by closing loopholes and
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eliminating those tax detuxes. raising rates, in our concern, is going to have a negative effect on the economy. so we are looking at all aspects of our tax code. i think if we could sit down and have negotiations, we could think through what is the best way to move forward so we have a possibly less complicated tax code in america. that's where you are going to provide the certainty than people need, and that the economy needs. it is not just raising the rates. that is really a straw man. it doesn't solve the problem. we could raise those top two rates to 100% and it would fund the government for 91 days. that does not solve the problem. it is a false promise that suggests by raising the rates will solve the problem. that is a band aid.
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what we need is the big fix. we need to have the big problems facing america. this is our moment. i believe the american people want to see that. they want to see the republicans and democrats coming together. they want that leadership from the president. >> there were two polls out this week that show the american people want you, your caucus, to start talking to the president more seriously about raising taxes on the upper income earners. you saw the washington post/abc news poll saying they were upset about the way the president was doing things and also people unhappy about the way the discussions are going. you have a majority of the country saying sit down with the president and raise rates on upper income americans, but on your right flank, you have republicans that are very upset about this. how do you cut a deal when you
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face those prospects? >> what i see the american people wanting and what those polls suggest is that's american people expect us to solve these problems. they want us to come up with a big solution so that we don't find ourselves in this situation a few months down the road. they don't want a band aid. there -- the fact there is a poll they are willing to pay more taxes shows they are willing to sacrifice. >> so why not do it? >> because america wants the federal government to sacrifice as well. >> aren't plans for that on the table? you put forward entitlement plans. why not do it? >> the president is calling for another stimulus, a $450 billion stimulus. he's calling for unlimited debt ceiling increases. he is not -- unfortunately the
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president is not putting the spending cuts on the table. he campaigned that he would, but right now he's ignoring what he said on the campaign trail. he's actually doubled the amount of tax increases he's calling for. then he's calling for another stimulus, more spending, and he's calling for an unlimited debt ceiling increase for the years to come. so it is very difficult. the republicans have put tax revenue on the table. we want to have those good-faith negotiations. we want to sit down and figure out how we can come up with the frame work to solve these big problems so that we don't find ourselves in this situation in just a few months down the road. >> congresswoman, one of the things i'm curious about, there seem to be concerns about what happens when we get to january 1 and there isn't a deal.
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does that make the political choices that congress members need to make easier in some ways politically? in some ways they would be voting for a tax cut as opposed to a tax hike. there is a political calculus that that might be easier after the first of the year. >> i don't think so. from my perspective, it would be devastating if we go over the cliff as such. if taxes are allowed to increase. if we see the sequestration take effect. ben bernanke pointed out that the combination effect would be nearly three million jobs lost. it would not provide the certainty that middle class families need nor that our economy needs. i don't believe we want to go over the fiscal cliff. what we need to do is solve these problems. we need to come to the table and
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put together that framework to address these pressing problems. if we don't do it now, we will face this same debate a few months down the road. the reason we are having this debate is because we are spending so much more than we are taking in as a federal government. our budget this year is $3.5 trillion and expected revenue is $2.2 trillion or $2.3 trillion. we're already seeing where the deficit for next year is even higher than this year. we're going on the fourth year now in a row that we have not even as a house and a senate have not agreed on a budget. that is not the type of leadership that america wants. americans want republicans and democrats to sit down and figure it out. i think we are either going to succeed together or we are going to fail together, but it starts with us working together. that's what needs to happen.
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we need to have leadership from the president. as republicans, we are demanding that we address the out-of-control spending that this country faces, and the debt that this country faces. >> what do you consider to be a band aid that the president prome -- proposed? >> well, a band aid would be suggesting that somehow just addressing the tax situation and not addressing the larger issue of the spending, that doesn't solve the problem, because we're going to have the continued deficit and the debt. >> what if there were taxes on upper income americans with an agreement that come the new year we would sort it out. yes, it would be a band aid, but
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it would hold us over for six weeks. >> that is a discussion to have. from my perspective, this is the discussion we need to have. >> but your conference does not agree to this. >> my conference believes america needs tax reform, middle class families need tax reform. we need to have that frame work for tax reform. republicans also believe we need to put a framework in place to reduce the spending. we believe this is our moment to do the big thing. we had this debate a year ago july, and we'll continue to have this debate a few months from now if we don't solve this. so this is our moment. >> one of the more practical questions we're asking around capitol hill here, with the fact christmas is only a little more
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than a week away, if things continue as they are now, should there be a point this coming week where leaders say, i'm out, just go home and enjoy the holiday? or would you prefer to see everyone stay here in washington and roll through? >> we will solve that problem in the coming days. i would encourage leadership from president obama and the leaders in the house to come together and make this happen. we knew this would be happening happening for over a year, and here we are in the final days. >> you would concede you would rather spend christmas in washington state as opposed to washington, d.c., correct? >> absolutely.
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>> what are the chances you see a deal getting done before christmas? >> i remain hopeful. we can lay out that framework and make that happen. >> there have been a few different measures passed over the last few days, over the last four days of voting. there have -- there are several large issues that remain. your conference is working with the white house on the possible reacquisition of the women's act. secretary reid said he would like to reauthorizize fifa. why not keep lawmakers cutting deals on those things and depetting those done while the leaders are -- getting those
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done while the leaders are working on the fiscal cliff? >> that is part of the plan. >> why did you send them home on thursday? >> they are coming back on monday to be here all week long. i come from eastern washington where the farm bill is very important in getting some kind of an agreement to move something ford on the farm bill. that's important. we have other issues that we could bring up on the house floor, the violence against women act. we are ready to go to conference on that bill. i know the majority leader has been working with the vice president trying to see if there is a way forward. i am hopeful that that will be able to be brought forward. postal reform. i don't think it is completely off the table, but during these
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days the house and the committee could be working on postal reform. so there lsh issues brought to the house floor. >> as early as next week, congresswoman? >> yes. >> and what about, congresswoman, i'm curious about your role, in your new role as conference chairman. can you talk about that role and how you view it as your role there in the conference? >> sure. >> the conference chair is the chair for the republicans and the house. we meet on a regular basis, so i get to chair those meetings, but that is probably the least exciting part of the job. it is a position that is also responsible for the messaging and the communication arm for the house republicans. zoo i will be working -- so i
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will be working with republicans to ensure we are taking our message to every corner of this country in working with the house republicans to do that. >> you had a contested race for that position. i'm wondering -- i know former vice-presidential nominee paul ryan actually endorsed you. what do you think of that given the lack of leadership for women in congress. >> paul ryan was long-time good friends with tom price and he made that decision long before he was tapped to be the v.p. nominee for the republicans. we also have a good relationship. you know, it was a spirited race, but i think it was -- that's healthy for the conference. i'm excited about the fact the conference elected me to serve in this role and provide some leadership.
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we have a record number of women that were elected to the house as republicans in 2010, and now we have three women serving on the house republican leadership team. actually, four, because wagner is also on the leadership team with virginia fox and wynn jenkins. so that is exciting. it is fun to see more women running for office across the board but also on the republican ticket and running and being successful. i believe those are important voices we bring in these discussions. >> congress is kind of the de facto communications expert then. i'm curious how you are counseling your colleagues to broaden the field. there has been a poor job of communicating policies and delivering this message to minorities and to women. are you ready to make structural changes? is it a matter of using
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different buzz words? is it a matter of people like yourself as opposed to other republicans to convey the message? what's your plan? >> when you look at our position on any issue, i believe a lot of it is in the messenger and making sure we are connecting with people the -- with people. the demographics in this country continue to change. it is important to make sure those people know who we are and what we are all about. a lot of times the democrats define us a certain way, and we have to make sure people understand the values we share as republicans. our foundation is on people, on freedom, on equal opportunity for all, on the rule of law. and those are -- and being able to just see what you can do with the god-given talents that you have as an individual. so it is a more strategic, i
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think, approach in thinking through how do we better connect with, you know, the changing demographics in this country? there is a lot that can be done in that regard, and we will start that effort very soon. >> there was a light-hearted moment when congressman jenkins made a comment how it feels like you are teenagers right now, parents talking to teenagers and talking different languages. trying to use different languages and use different metaphors, that seems to be part of the strategy, because we didn't used to see that. >> it seems that we are making an effort that young people understand that the debate we are having in congress today over debt and the deficit and
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how it impacts them and their daily lives. i think a lot of times republicans are good. you know, we throw out facts and figures and we were concerned about -- you know, right now we are very concerned. we have long been concerned about the debt. we're big in the point that this is our moment to address the out-of-control spending. we need to take it one step depurgetter and make sure that -- we need to take it one step further and make sure that young people understand how it impacts them moving forward. as the federal government moves larger and larger, it is going to make it harder for young people to live that american dream and take advantage of the opportunities this country has to offer and start a business possibly. or even the safety net programs that are in place. we need to recognize that many of them are on a path to disrupt bankruptcy, and we need to take steps now to make sure that those programs are available and
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are fisscally able -- fiscally able to meet the obligations we have taken on. that's part of the way we'll take our message to different groups is taking it that one step further so that people from all different walks of life, all different experiences, can understand the debate we are having and why it is important to them in their lives. >> i have a couple minutes left. can i ask you about the shooting at the elementary school, do you think it is time to have a debate about gun control? >> like everyone, i am deaf stated about what happened. it is awful. it is so sad. i am a mom. i have two kids. it is hard to imagine. i think we have to -- we need to find out what happened and what
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role this individual played. i think we have to be careful -- suggesting that we need new laws. we need to look at what drives a crazy person to do these kinds of actions and make sure we are enforcing the laws that are currently on the books. yes, definitely we need to do everything possible to make sure something like this never happens again. >> but that answer has been given by democrats and republicans alike after the shooting in colorado and more recently after the shooting in portland. if it is not gun control, then what about mental health and about trouble youth that decides to do this could congress con -- con seeveably do to address this? >> well, i would say we need to
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search for the answers. that's part of what we can do here in congress. members and representatives can hold the hearings and dig deeper and try to better understand what happened and what drives individuals to take the lives of the nbt -- innocent this way. i think it is very important that we ask those questions and get the answers so that we can prevent these types of situations from happening. >> congresswoman, we will have to leave it there. thank you for your time and for joining us on "newsmakers." >> thank you. >> and we return to our two reporters here for a quick wrap-up. let's return to the talks that we heard. >> it does not sound like progress is being made. congressman boehner is headed home to ohio today, or this
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weekend, and so he will be there. the president will be in washington. it doesn't sound like communications are going to be going on in the next days. we're 10 days out from christmas, two weeks out from the end of the year. it seems like the clock is ticking, but there doesn't seem to be any signs of progress. >> the president and the speaker talk on the phone, they get together. what's going on behind-the-scenes for people outside of washington? >> we understand there are staff level discussions going on. the president's legislative liason basically. secretary geithner and jack lou and mitch mcconnell as well are meeting with the president. there were discussions late into the night, but that did not
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yield anything significant. they have had hour-long conversations. show me yr cards, i'll show you mine. at the end of it, they don't seem to produce anything new. there have been some concerns among democrats that the speaker and the president may not be able to put something together because of the differences that exist between conservatives and those willing to allow rates to rise on upper income americans. there is a divide also, and you've seen this on the senate side, between republicans and the more conservative house. >> there is a real divide there. i think boehner is one of the more interesting figures in this. at a press conference he was pressed on whether he would accept an increase in rates. he said he didn't want one, but he didn't rule out doing one.